Horchata is a milky, non-alcoholic drink that can take several different forms depending on where you are in the world. In Mexico, it is usually made with a base of rice milk with cinnamon added, but most often we associate it with the flavor of almonds.
As mentioned in a previous post, barley water was a substitute for milk in olden times, and it appears that almond milk was a substitute for barley milk in the winters. Almond milk evolved into horchata and also into the almond syrup orgeat that is used in cocktails like the Mai Tai.
Regardless: This cocktail contains almond milk that gives it a nice milky and frothy texture – and according to the brand I bought it’s also soy and lactose-free if you care about that sort of thing.
Lindsay Nader, a Los Angeles-based bartender who is more often consulting and throwing private events these days with her company Elysium Cocktails, took the almond milk in a boozy direction by adding tequila and a splash of rum, plus some allspice and cinnamon garnish.
The drink comes out creamy and a little dangerous as it doesn’t taste like it has the amount of alcohol in it that it does. Consider yourself warned.
A few notes on ingredients: Your tequila should be 100% agave and say so on the bottle. Nader calls for a lightly-aged reposado tequila, but I think you could get away with a longer-aged anejo if that’s what you’ve got on hand. The aged rum is a really nice tough in this drink, adding more caramel flavors, so don’t skip it even if you go with a different aged rum. Allspice dram is unfortunately not widely available, so consider substituting allspice syrup that you can buy or make at home (just simmer some allspice powder in a simple syrup or in your agave nectar).
By Lindsay Nader
1.5 fl. oz. Siete Leguas Reposado Tequila
.5 fl. oz. Flor De Cana 7 Year Old Rum
.5 fl. oz. Agave Nectar
2 fl. oz. Organic Almond Milk
1 dash Allspice Dram (Allspice Liqueur)
Grated Cinnamon for garnish
Shake all liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker until frothy then strain pour over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with grated cinnamon.